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The author’s personal background is fascinating: Swiss-born to German parents in an Italian-speaking village, Ms. Rusca was raised protestant in an otherwise Catholic environment. Likewise, the premise of Feminine Mysteries in the Bible is fascinating:

 . . . unveils sacred mysteries of the feminine and the alchemical relationship of the male and female forces at the heart of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Drawing on more than 30 years of research, she explores four archetypal women in the Bible: Tamar, the sacred prostitute; Rahab, the meretrix; Ruth, who redeems the soul; and Bathsheba, the daughter of the Goddess. These women - sacred prostitutes one and all - represent the indestructible feminine life force, the wisdom of the Goddess, and the transformative power of the soul, and they symbolize the four stages of the development of soul consciousness." Rusca posits a four-fold path of women as both mothers and daughters that embody sacred sexuality without being Pagan (modern or otherwise) in form and concept.

A firm grounding in Jungian psychology would make this book easier to understand. My college level psych training was stretched to the utmost, and I’ve been keeping up with the concepts and ideas through the years. A willingness to keep reading because the topic is interesting even though the prose is plodding will also be useful when reading this book.

This is not a new exploration of the Goddess in an Abrahamic context. This is not a new perspective of the origins of Christianity. I am not sure this book breaks new ground in women’s studies.

In the end, I neither disliked nor liked Feminine Mysteries in the Bible.

 

3 water jugs out of 5.

 

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Ruth Rusca

Bear & Company, 2008

pp. 160, $15.00

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